Unit 1.2 What Facilitates Recovery?

Illness as an Identity?


Activity 1:

Read case study:

I was talking to a young man who was part of a group of young people, recently diagnosed with schizophrenia. His conversation focussed on how as a schizophrenic he would be unable to get a job, live independently, get married, etc. His whole conversation was one of passive acceptance  about the constraints the diagnosis would have on his life.

I explained to him that he was not a schizophrenic but a young person with schizophrenia, and the purpose of this group was to focus not on his diagnosis but to discover his strengths and skills and his hopes and dreams for the future.

A young woman also in the group had overheard our conversation and commented that she too saw herself as a schizophrenic  with attendant limitations, but she suddenly realised that if she had cancer, no-one would call her cancerous, but a woman with cancer, and treat the illness in order for her to get on with her life.

Both of these two young people had understood their diagnosis to be a life script of limitation for their future. They had internalised this belief and were set to live it out. Their internal script was informing their external lives.

This module will reflect on where such life scripts come from and their impact on a person’s sense of self.


Activity 2:

Click on the play button below to watch to Sam's Story:

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Task: Where would you begin with Sam to support her in her journey of recovery to reclaim her identity? Please discuss in #Identity